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EA Lays Off Internal Reviewers and Analysts

Matt Gardner
EA, Layoffs

EA Lays Off Internal Reviewers and Analysts

Electronic Arts have apparently laid off a small number of employees responsible for evaluating in-development games at the company.

According to a source at Polygon, "less than 20 employees were affected by the most recent cuts" which come after Frank Gibeau announced that transition is our friend, and that EA would be undergoing company-wide restructuring.

The report was corroborated by now-former employee Kat Bailey, who worked as a games research analyst for EA according to her LinkedIn profile, and who tweeted that "whole department just got cut" (EDIT: The tweet has since been removed).

Given that internal reviewers were allegedly responsible for the shambles that was Medal of Honor: Warfighter (again, Gibeau) releasing in the sorry state that it did, we can't say that we're surprised.

Add a comment2 comments
Tsung  Jun. 19, 2013 at 10:59

Not entirely sure what an Internal Reviewer does but from the title it must be a difficult job, balancing the expectation against the truth. I assume they take the game at various stages of development, review it and from that decisions can be made about the direction it is going in.

The problem I see is you never bite the hand that feeds you, so the company is paying you to review their product you are very unlikely to be brutally true if that product is terrible (especially if it cost a lot of money to develop). I suspect anyone who was overly negative would be quickly removed from the department. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

Maybe internal reviews was also responsible for the buggy mess that is Sim City?

BloodR0se  Jun. 19, 2013 at 11:09

There are companies out there which offer professional mock review services and they will review a game just before it goes gold to give the publishers some idea of how the real critical response would be. A lot of ex-Gamespot/IGN/Edge journalists do that sort of thing.

If these people were doing a similar job in-house then that sounds like a risky business to me. You likely get chastised if you review a bad game well but brought to management and hated by the development teams if you review it badly. Either way, you can't really win.


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